You’d be hard-pressed to find the words “Spotify” and “kids’ music” in the same sentence. But Spotify has just done that this month, by launching a standalone iOS and Android app Spotify Kids in Australia.
Exclusive to Spotify Premium Family subscribers, it’s designed for kids aged three and up. There are singalongs, lullabies, nursery rhymes and songs to be devoured either alone or with the family.
It’s not just kid favourites like Disney, Nickelodeon and Hasbro featured, the 130 playlists also include ‘Kookaburra Sits In The Old Gum Tree’ and ‘Waltzing Matilda’.
The Pop Hits AU playlist has Hilltop Hoods, Illy, 5 Seconds of Summer, Sia, The Wiggles, Baker Boy, Jessica Mauboy and Guy Sebastian, among others. While Australian Rock Hits features AC/DC, INXS, Paul Kelly and Crowded House.
Such music is already found in Australia’s world-first Kinderling, an independent online and digital station, which launched some years back with presenters including those who’d been on FBi and whose music includes everything from The Avalanches to Brian Eno.
Spotify’s move will hopefully put more of a spotlight on Australia’s children’s music market. There’s little research on how big it is, but it’s attracted names like Peking Duk, Dan Sultan and Regurgitator.
The most recent figures from Live Performance Australia found that in 2018, the Children’s/Family events category generated $59.8 million in ticket sales and 1.7 million attendances. This was an increase of 16.5% in revenue and 26.4% in attendance from 2017.
We could get an indication of how Aussie kids consume if we take in the results of a 2019 US study of 8 to 18-year-olds by Common Sense Media. It found that this age group is watching more videos than ever before. 56% of 8 to 12-year-olds and 69% of 13 to 18-year-olds watch online videos every day. In 2015, those figures were 24% and 34% respectively.
The study said, “As kids come into their own, the messages they see in digital media will play an even bigger role in their sense of self, their social awareness, their well-being, and their access to information on everything from politics to the latest viral meme.”
What’s more, their main platform for watching videos is YouTube, which kids under 13 are not supposed to access. Only 23% watched YouTube Kids which is geared for them. In other words, Common Sense Media suggested parents should monitor even more what their kids are watching – which is difficult with portable devices – and set up device-free zones and times.
Check out the study at commonsensemedia.org/research.